June 2006 Archives

Funny Bits

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These are a few of the little funny bits of life that happened during my little recent trip.

  • I was on a two-lane on-ramp. On one side there was a sign indicating to merge left, like this. On the other side was a sign to merge right. Needless to say, I was a bit confused as to what I should to do.

    Of course, the best bit had to do with what I should do around the border of California, which was amusing.

    You're familiar, I'm sure, with the universal symbol for, "there's a restaurant here!" It is the fork and knife on the green-colored background. One of the bettter moments on my trip was "Donner Lake." The aforementioned knife, fork, and plate symbol symbol was just beneath the sign.

    It made me giggle.

    Of course, there were a few other little moments, such as the exit in California that said, "Willliams! Exit!"

    Perhaps I should have taken that to heart and taken the exit? Instead I end up back here in good ol' Wyoming.

    I'm sure it's fine; weird things happen to me here, too.

  • Friday Catblogging!

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    This week, more cat photos from New Orleans:



    I'd love one of these:

    Cat Carriage

    Have a great weekend!

    Ode to the G&T

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    Ah, it's summer. With warm weather comes all sorts of things. Fishing, camping, and the Gin and Tonic. Mmm.

    When I was in Oregon, I managed to pick up a couple 750's of the magnificent Hendrick's Gin. It's wonderful, but I only have a limited supply. Unfortunately, the Wyoming liquor commission doesn't buy this brand. So, I just got it in Oregon, and I'll have to make it last. I suppose the cheaper stuff will do, apart from special occasions.

    I've noticed many people profess a hatred of Gin. It seems the juniper flavor turns them off. I've also noticed that this distaste seems to stem from bad gin. Just like bad vodka, the poorly-distilled swill has so many impurities, it's just awful.

    But good gin is a thing of beauty. The juniper flavor should be pleasing, and a gin and tonic with lime is a most sublime cocktail, particularly in the summer months. But I do go on.

    So take some time to explore your cocktails. At least try the decent gin from time to time, but if that's not your bag, enjoy some other summer refreshment--alcoholic or otherwise.

    And remember: in these warm summer months, it's important to avoid your malaria.


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    Well now, it appears my trip is now over.  Here's a quick rundown.

    Day 1: Get up at around 5 am.  Drive.  Check into hotel in target city around 10 pm.  Hungry.  Find Safeway.  Have sandwich involving focaccia.  Sleep.

    Day 2: Interview.  Go to Seattle (significant yet pleasant drive).  Have dinner and hang out with friends.  Drive back to target city.  In the process, be involved in construction reducing three lanes to one.  Go 4 miles in 50 minutes.  Sleep.

    Day 3: Wander around potential source town.  Buy used books.  Eat at local pub.  Check out river park.  Buy Scottish Gin which is not available in Wyoming.  Decide that, despite higher-prestige opportunities, you'll take the job.

    Day 4: drive South along the Pacific Coast.  Recognize the bliss.  End up in a seedy Motel 6 in Sacramento.

    Day 5: Go east, young man.  Stop for lunch with one of your classmates, but otherwise, drive.

    Day 6: Back in the groove.  Get up at 4:45 a.m. and run 4.5 miles.  Carpool leaves at 7; work starts at 8.

    So, that, overall, was my trip.  I loved the town I might be working in, though I unfortunately doubt I'll get the position.  Regardless, it was a fun trip.  I hope to have a fun entry about little trip bits soon.  I put over 3,300 miles on my car, which is quite a lot for me.


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    Back home. Must sleep. Will blog more detail later.

    Turn Around

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    I was just listening to a Nightline podcast (air date 6/12/06). It referred to Guantanamo Bay as "the most notorious prison camp in the world."

    Interesting. Used to be the Germans who had that claim to fame.


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    As I've mentioned, I'm on the road. I had my job interview yesterday, and it seemed to go reasonably well, but there are six other people applying, and probably all are at least as good as I am. Originally, I was actually wondering about whether or not I'd take the job if offered. After the interview, and spending a little time in the town, I think I would. I think I have a shot at other, more 'prestigious' jobs, but this one is in the location I like and doing work I would love. Of course, it's pretty likely I won't get it, in which case I will have to pursue those other opportunities. We'll see.

    I went about 250 miles yesterday to see an old friend, which was nice. Unfortunately, the trip back to my hotel was miserable. 'They' decided to close off 2/3 of the highway for construction. It took me about an hour to go four miles. It was painful, given how late it was.

    I've been a bit internet deprived on this trip, what with driving a lot and a now-resolved problem with the hotel wireless. I spent the morning catching up on email and other iReading. I plan on spending the rest of the day wandering around the town I hope will be my home in a year. Tomorrow, I start driving back, but probably on a more leisurely route than the way I arrived. It's a nice little break.

    Make it Stop!

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    I'm a big Tom Robbins fan. Some of his work is pretty good, some of it is great. One of those books I hadn't read yet was Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. I recently finished it and, while I don't think it was his best, I thought it was pretty good.

    When I found out it's a movie, I thought that was pretty cool and promptly Netflixed it. I just finished it.

    What a piece of garbage! Essentially, it views like a bare plot treatment for the book. Now, I understand the book is pretty philosophical and there's no way to fit that into a film, but you can convey some of the themes, or maybe personalities of the characters. I didn't care at all about these people. Sometimes the acting was just so bad you wanted it all to end. When Bonanza Jellybean was shot--once, mind you, not the bloody pulping of the book--I just felt relief. Of course, they felt it necessary to throw in a "heartfelt" death scene.

    I feel like I need to gargle with used cat litter to get the taste of this film out of my mouth.

    Friday Catblogging!

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    . . . A bit delayed.  Yesterday, I was a bit squeezed.  I had to work all day, then left to promptly go to WineFest XXIV.  I'll blog on that separately.  There were also some technical issues with getting the import photos.  Regardless, here we go:




    Have a Great Weekend

    Travelin' Man

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    Announcement: I'm going to the Pacific Northwest for a job interview next week. I'm required to go to Oregon (as if it is such a chore!) and will probably make it up to Seattle to visit a friend. I padded my time off so I could be leisurely getting back, so I'm pretty flexible.

    So, if there are any readers or other bloggers in the area interested in an in-person meeting, perhaps a drink or two, let me know!

    The Law is Fun!

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    Here’s another funny moment I came across when doing some research. In a larceny trial, the defendant argued entrapment.

    “Swartz’ [sic] argument is that, because she had a known emotional attachment to the Camaro, placing it un front of the Patenaude’s house with a ‘for sale’ sign on it was an extraordinary temptation and inducement to commit the crime.” Swartz v. State, 971 P.2d 137, 140 (Wyo. 1998).

    Friday Catblogging!

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    . . . special late edition.

    My summer job at the Wyo. AG's office has kept me pretty busy.  I finished one brief--though there will be revisions--and started on another.  I'll probably argue the latter before the Wyo. S. Ct., but not for a while.  I don't think they're hearing arguments July and August because they're moving to temporary quarters while their building is being remodeled.

    Nevertheless, I think it's awesome.  I find myself coming up with arguments and writing them down.  I can pretend I really know what I'm doing!  At least until I'm discovered.  I figure I'll enjoy it while I can.

    Anyway, here are some pheline photos:




    Have a great weekend!

    Well, here it is. I’ve been using the new Beta of Microsoft Office for some time now, and here are my thoughts. As a matter of fact, I’m compiling this post in Word 2007, making bullet points as I go. I suppose it has some advantages.

    • I’m still ambivalent about the ribbon. It seems a bit big. I may like it, though. We’ll see.
    • Other than the look and the interface, it seems to function basically the same. This is not one of those revolutionary upgrades. At the same time, the UI enhancements may make people think about or actually use more of the strong features, such a Styles.
    • Make that nifty little menu that comes up when you highlight text document-sensitive. When I’m writing a blog post, it ought to include a button for making a hyperlink, as when I’m writing a blog post, that’s usually what I want to do when I highlight text.
    • Incidentally, I just noticed (see Ecto, infra) that if I highlight something the dictionary doesn’t recognize, it doesn’t give me a hyperlink option. Inconvenient.
    • For blog posting, make it so the entry automatically gets saved in some sort of blog area, whether I want it to or not.
    • Create some good image handling for blog posts. Check out Ecto for more. Ability to do thumbnails is a bonus.
    • In Outlook, the little envelope seems not to appear, despite my emphatically setting the relevant options.
    • You should maybe plan on being able to reduce some options for the ‘computers of low power.’ I have such a computer, after acquiring a laptop for the sole purpose of getting me through graduate school. I only require that it handle word processing and internet applications. Your software strains it.
    • RSS handling needs some serious work.
      • Whenever entries in a feed change, it creates a whole new entry. This is a problem since some poorly-formatted feeds constantly change from full-text to preview mode, and vice versa. I have spent a lot of time marking as read many posts.
      • Allow different settings for RSS. For example, if I highlight an RSS entry for more than a split second, I want it marked read. For emails, three seconds (a relative eternity) is just fine.
      • Allow viewing the full entry in the Outlook window. It seems a small thing, but if necessary to view a link, it is very convenient to be able to just click and let the entry open then and there, without calling a browser window. This is especially true where I just want to browse a link for a minute to know whether I’m interested. Include an option for opening in a separate window (perhaps with a right-click), if necessary.
      • I suppose the bottom line is that if Outlook will start integrating RSS (which I don’t think is a bad idea), it needs to recognize that RSS is not like email, and it should be treated differently. Right now, it’s almost an afterthought. That is bad.
      • It needs to be able to handle bad feeds. Even Microsoft’s own. *ahem* Here’s a feed I tried to add, and it wouldn’t let me: crabbyphoto
      • The picture above? It wouldn’t let me post it. I was told, “Please ensure your account information is correct and try again.” Well, I’m pretty sure it’s correct since I’ve made other posts. Get it figured out. I had to go to my trusty Ecto to post the photo.
    • Don’t forget a legal user’s guide. Word is just starting to make some strides as a prevalent legal word processing program. Don’t throw that away. From what I’ve heard from WordPerfect users, the great strength in WP is the way it automatically generates Tables of Authorities and the like. Learn from that to open up a satisfied market (not just one that uses your product because it has to).
    • I’m a student, so I like OneNote (after trying a few alternatives). Where’s the new Ribbon interface (assuming I like it—see the first bullet)? Also, consider your pricing plans. What about people who want all standard features of Office (including Access), but also want a little OneNote Action?
    • This may be one of those things that gets fixed before the final release (I hope so), but I can’t install OneNote Mobile on my PocketPC 2003 machine. I sincerely hope that those of us who have been long-time MS users and have planned on using products for years won’t have to upgrade just for this. Upgrading at need is one thing, but as far as I can tell, my little Axim X3 still does everything I need it to do.

    Overall, it seems to be an improvement, assuming they get everything to work as promised. Is it enough of an improvement to warrant paying for the upgrade? That depends. I’ll probably get the upgrade because (with any luck) it will come out when I can still take advantage of my educational discount. Otherwise, I’m not entirely sure it is worth the price.

    There may be an exception, though, for those not intimately familiar with the deeper features, such as styles et al. The new interface may encourage their use more than the old, and it may breed a new generation of users who are thinking more ‘word processer’ than ‘typewriter.’ Those of us already familiar with Word’s deeper features, though, may find the new interface somewhat infantile.

    I haven’t discussed the new file format, either, a form of XML. I hope this will make a difference to users, but for some reason, I have a hard time seeing it. For most Word users, I don’t think the file format is terribly important as long as they can convert as needed. This is one of those subtle changes that, I think, will only make an unconscious difference.

    That’s pretty much it. I encourage everyone to try it for themselves. You have nothing to lose, and may have some input into the final product.

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